Leading the way to a cure


Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors for the Treatment of Lupus

Mishra, Nilamadhab, MD

Wake Forest University

Studies in both mice and people with lupus suggest that the disease process may be associated with specific changes in the normal patterns of gene activity. Such changes may result in part from abnormalities in the actions of enzymes called histone deacetylases (HDACs), which cells use to turn certain genes on and off. In previous studies supported in part by the ALR, Dr. Mishra showed that two experimental drugs that inhibit the actions of HDACs have beneficial effects in mice with lupus-like kidney disease. These and other findings suggest that abnormal HDAC activity may play a role in lupus. In the next phase of this project, Dr. Mishra will do experiments to find out which of the many known HDACs play an important role in the disease process in mice. As part of this effort he will test the effects of HDAC inhibitors that selectively block the actions of only certain HDACs, and are already used to treat some human disorders, in mice with lupus-like disease.

What this study means for people with lupus: By providing a better understanding of the role of HDACs in causing lupus-like disease, this study could lead to the development of new, more targeted treatments for human lupus that block the actions of specific HDACs and have fewer side effects. This study will also show whether certain HDAC inhibitors that have already been shown to be safe in humans have potential for treating people with lupus. 

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